<![CDATA[Blog]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/ Fri, 27 Nov 2015 20:58:15 +0000 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[E.A.S.T Studio Tour 2010]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/EAST_2010/ E.A.S.T Austin 2010

EAST is here again....come visit Zhi on 13th - 21st October, 2010!

Mon, 08 Nov 2010 22:00:02 +0000
<![CDATA[Christmas Dinner with the Tea Priestess & Dr. Oolong]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/christmas-tea-dinner/ Jeffrey & I will be having Christmas Dinner together today.  Celebrating our friendship, love and another year of Zhi Tea.

Wishes to everyone on this day.

May Joy Peace & Love be your path ahead for 2010.

Today's Menu

Tea Priestesses Terrific Tea-brined Turkey & Roasted Chestnut stuffing
with Heavenly Orange Blossom Oolong Cranberry Sauce;
Roasted Squash, Red Potatoes with Travis Heights fresh herbs;
Suzi's Kitchen Szechuan Green Beans

Dr. Oolong's best in class Apple Pie

All Day Nibbles
Gingerbread angels;  Chocolate/Pecan hard cookies
Assorted imported cheeses and crackers


Fri, 25 Dec 2009 16:49:17 +0000
<![CDATA[Zhi Tea Looking Back]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/zhi-tea-looking-back/ Looking back on 2009......

Mon, 21 Dec 2009 21:09:09 +0000
<![CDATA[New Zhi Videos!]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/new-videos/ New VideosCheck out all of our new videos on the website.

Everything from Tea 101 to the History of Tea to investigating Tea Types.

To View them all Click here

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 17:41:35 +0000
<![CDATA[Zhi Tea Events 2009]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/zhi-tea-events-2009/ It has been a very successful year for Zhi regarding Events in the Austin, TX area.....

Tue, 01 Dec 2009 21:03:28 +0000
<![CDATA[Living the Dream]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/living-the-dream/ Every once in a while you hear folks proudly exclaim that they are, “living the dream”. While this may come across in a somewhat Tom Cruise-type fashion, I do believe that most folks are genuinely sincere in their proclamation.
But what is meant by this? Where does it come from?

The reason I am pondering this today is that I found myself saying exactly that a few days ago and caught myself. “Am I really?”, “What do I mean by that?, and, “What dream?”

Upon reflecting on my feelings in the moment and where they originated I do believe it was merely an outpouring of gratitude for all my blessings, challenges, and life circumstances. Quite simple, really. Nothing to do with trappings of success, money, or power. In fact, I am quite humbled by my personal journey and the journey of Zhi Tea so far. It has been awakening to say the least.

So, living the dream must indeed be more about being present in the moment, a sense of true feeling, as opposed to some idea that one is getting what they want. Or perhaps, when one is dialed into their true wantings, the sense of joy is indeed imminent; as the universe generally appears to provide. Provided, of course, that there is some sense of alignment with the desires of the Self.

It seems the desires of the Self in fact do feel like a dream, at times. Remote, vague, and shifting. We see this realm as if through a bank of clouds. Occasionally, the clouds part, clarity is revelead, and we exclaim, “I’m living the dream.”

Fri, 16 Oct 2009 09:30:00 +0000
<![CDATA[I heart Groupon]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/groupon/ I heart Groupon. I got a half price haircut at the place I already go to and love, Bird’s. I also got a half price box of fab organic produce from the awesomeness that is Greenling.
When they called me a few weeks ago I was totally skeptical. Why would I want to do this? And pay you for putting up some lame ad? It took a bit of discussion and investigation, but I realized that this was an example of the new marketplace and I better get with it. People pay en mass for a deep discount and have 6 months to use the coupon. It drives people to our store who may never otherwise have ventured, and rewards our fans, as well. BOOM.
So I did, and today we are watching the numbers go up for our “$10 for $20 worth of tea at the Zhi Tea Gallery” groupon. It is going at about 30 per hour now. Shockingly cool!
So I am anticipating yelling “100!!” really loudly in about an hour and a half at this rate.

Looking forward to the coincidentally timed Groupon launch party here in Austin tonight at the very nice Paggi House. I get to meet Morgan, the gal who gracefully walked me across the river of unknowing into the world of Groupon.

My initial guess was 146 sold today. I think we might even double that.

Thu, 01 Oct 2009 09:30:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Mind Numbing Oolong Teas]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/mind-numbing-oolong-teas/ A previously unknown supplier who appears to be solid and reputable sent me the biggest box of tea samples EVER. I can’t believe it. Huge.
It will take months to go through them all. So far the three or four I have tried have been very, very good. A fantastic ti quan yin and a really good mao jian among them.

Tue, 01 Sep 2009 09:30:00 +0000
<![CDATA[How To Make Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/how-to-make-matcha-ice-cream/ Match Ice CreamThis is just soooo funny, had to post it here!

It is actually a great recipe for Match Ice Cream, just taught in a very Japanese Way.

Match Ice Cream with Dog is a winner.


Thu, 27 Aug 2009 20:28:49 +0000
<![CDATA[Impromtu Tea Tasting Zhi Tea Gallery]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/impromptu-tea-tasting/ Last week my friend Nick stopped by the store with his bag of tricks. He suggested I take a well-deserved break and we could gung fu it for an hour or so to get my soul back on track.

Well, it definitely worked. He busted out the last remnants of a nice 1994 Aged Bao Zhong and we took it from there. I had to bust out my 2002 Aged Oolong to show off a bit as Nick was impressing me with not only his awesome tea (obtained from Hou De Tea) but his fantastic and humble execution of the gung fu tea method. I have witnessed the gung fu method of tea preparation several times, but never by someone who seemed to be connected to the process in such an unselfconscious way. It was fun and educational and very grounding, as well. We had a blast. And we got about 5 good steeps from both teas.

The Bao Zhong you could tell had lost a bit of its jinginess or freshness. That said, it still the great bao zhong qualities; the complex floral notes, misty lingering long finish, and that dark hint of granny’s attic in the background you get from some of these aged teas. I likened it to sitting in grandma’s house and she had baked a peach pie the day before, but had left the door to the attic open and the window in the attic was open and it had just started raining. Safe to say I was transported.

We followed up with the 2002 oolong. It definitely had more punch and presence; it was only 7 years old and was more highly oxidized to begin with. It was also really enjoyable. A solid roasted, round body, hints of chestnuts and spice. The next couple of steepings we were rewarded with some really nice floral richness. Very evocative. Earthy and sweet with a really long nectar finish. Very nice.

A great break from the day.

Thu, 27 Aug 2009 09:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Oolong Time]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/new-oolongs-2009/ Well, finally did it. Released the promised oolongs finally. It is always so much more work than you’d imagine, Photos, labels, descriptions (long and short), pricing, last minute changes, awaiting shipments…

It_was_worth_the_wait. I always do this thing where I second guess a purchase or decision, so I go back to the grindstone, recupping said tea (I did it this year with the Golden Lily (a popular oolong that varies widely in quality). Suffice to say that after an evening of recupping and talking myself out of doing it with a few others, I realized we had totally scored again this year. A little luck, some great and deepening friendships, contacts, and connections, and an unwavering focus on quality and sustainability.

So, now I need to post some photos of a tasting session and tasting notes! Also, I need to give props to my friends Brett in Seattle who manages Tea Cup. He turned me on to a solid Ali Shan that was the first of the teas we got this year. It is almost gone, and a few others are disappearing rapidly, but I expect to have some well into the year. We got near whole crops of a few select ones from tiny farms. Totally sweet.

I’ll be scheduling a tasting on my meetup page zhi tea tasting group for mid-September. it is still 100 degrees here every day and no one is here or wants to do anything.

So now I will go and fill my gaiwan with some of my new favorite, a gui fei oolong we have dubbed royal courtesan. it is to die for. Maybe I’ll feature that in the next posting.

Check them out here...

Sun, 02 Aug 2009 09:30:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Zhi Tea New Website]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/zhi-tea-new-website/ Well, after months of hard work and perseverance, our new website is up and running! Not only that, but we are no longer chained to a hosting company with proprietary software, ridiculously expensive maintenance fees, and other ungodly things. But hey, that is the past, and now our site rests comfortably on open source Magento (kick ass) and we control every inch of its beauty. Loving it. While there is still a LOT to do in the site itself, it feels great.

The Tea Priestess has been doing all-nighters for awhile now and has just poured her love into the site and it shows. Her photos look better than ever and the layout is so sweet.

I have tons of text to still write, but hey, I love it, what can I say?

Thanks to everyone who helped test and launch the site. It’s time for celebration.

Wed, 01 Jul 2009 09:00:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Heritage Radio Interview]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/heritage-radio-interview/

I did a brief interview yesterday with Marla Camp, the publisher of Edible Austin, on Heritage internet radio this morning with Emily Olson from Foodzie and Nina Wanat creator of the amazing BonBonBar. It was my first live interview since my rock star days, and I think some practice on my “seven second elevator pitch” is in order, but I think it came off quite well. It was fun, and fast! I am grateful to be able to speak about our values and vision with people of like mind and soul.

You can listen here here. I think I go one at about 24:30.

Tue, 09 Jun 2009 09:30:00 +0000
<![CDATA[New-longs]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/new-oolongs/ Been sampling, cupping, and inspecting literally scores of oolongs from all over Taiwan. Thanks to some good friends who are foragers and adventurers (you definitely know who you are) and some diligence on our part (and some luck) we have access to some of the best and rare oolongs in the world. Hence, it is freaking hard to choose which to list on the site and sell from the store. It can be a daunting task to pick the few that can represent. Did I just say represent? I guess I did.

So I have learned the art of spitting. Much like wine tasting, you can only taste teas for so long before you get a MASSIVE caffeine dose. So you gotta spit.

I am still a bit unsure about this year’s crop relative to last on some counts, specifically on complexity and depth, from one farm anyway. Not sure about the causes yet. That said, some of the new ones are stellar. Expect them up on the site in the next few weeks. I have picked five fantastic ones with two more to come.

Currently savoring a Da Hong Pao or ‘Big Red Robe’ dark oolong from the Wuyi mountains in China. Incredible, it is last year’s batch I overlooked somehow. Great flavor variations; spicy, nutty, slightly grape-like and really satisfying. I hope to get some of this year’s. Stay tuned.

Mon, 01 Jun 2009 09:30:00 +0000
<![CDATA[Finder's Keepers]]> http://www.zhitea.com/blog/Austin-Pecan-Street/

While working the Zhi booth at the Old Pecan Street Festival in Austin this weekend, I noticed a lack lump sitting underneath one for the little tins we used to let people sniff and see the tea, a ’sniffing tin’. The black lump turned out to be a lady’s wallet. Upon inspection, it not onl;y contain several credit cards (of course) but over 300 in cold, hard cash.

I was ecstatic. Knowing how it feels to lose a wallet, cancel credit cards, go to the DMV for a new license, fell like an idiot…I was stoked that I could use the trusty inter-web to pull up her phone number and surprise her with the good news.

Within minutes I had Pat on the phone with the good news. She said, “Oh my God! You are my hero!”. And then a bit quieter, “Ah, but it had a lot of cash in it.” I could tell she totally assumed that the cash would be gone. I told her, indeed all the cash was there and not to worry.

It felt so good, not being a hero, but being someone who wouldn’t consider lifting someone’s cash.

Funny how that is perceived as an aberration, to do the honest thing. I don’t think I know anyone these day who would pocket the cash.

So I get to meet Pat now and give her back her trusty identity and greenbacks. Feels good.

Oh, and the street fair this weekend was fun, if a tad (okay a lot) beer soaked. We almost sold out of everything.

Now this week, among a thousand other things, it is gearing up for two Farmer’s Markets here in Austin.

Mon, 04 May 2009 09:00:00 +0000